In yet another twist to the myriad legal battles surrounding former President Donald Trump, reports have emerged suggesting that he is seeking ways to save $55,500 on the $5 million defamation verdict awarded to writer E. Jean Carroll.
For those unfamiliar with the case, E. Jean Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he denied sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. Carroll’s lawsuit gained significant attention, both due to the seriousness of the allegations and the fact that it was one of numerous legal battles Trump faced during his presidency.
In last October’s verdict, a New York judge ruled that Trump’s denials amounted to defamation as his statements alleging Carroll was lying about the assault had harmed her reputation and career. The court ordered Trump to pay $2.5 million in compensatory damages and another $2.5 million in punitive damages.
Now, it appears that Trump, known for his litigious nature and desire to avoid paying significant amounts of money, is exploring options to save $55,500 on the judgment. According to legal experts, this move is not uncommon, as individuals often try to reduce or eliminate damages awards through various legal tactics.
One avenue Trump’s legal team is reportedly pursuing involves a rarely used New York state law known as Article 50-B. This provision allows the state to provide legal representation to public employees who are sued for actions performed in the course of their duties. The intent behind this law is to protect employees from personal liability for acts committed while acting in their official capacities.
Trump’s attorneys argue that they are entitled to the same legal protection as public employees under Article 50-B, as he was the President of the United States when the alleged defamation occurred. By making use of this law, they seek to limit the amount Trump has to pay towards the judgment.
However, legal scholars scrutinize this strategy, noting that it remains unclear whether a president, who is elected by the public rather than an employee of the state, can be considered a covered individual under Article 50-B. The provision was originally designed to shield government employees from personal liability, not elected officials. Consequently, the applicability of such a law to former presidents remains an unanswered legal question.
If Trump’s legal team succeeds in their efforts, they would reduce the $5 million verdict by $55,500, potentially saving the former president a significant amount of money. Nevertheless, it is important to note that even if this tactic proves successful, it would only slightly diminish the overall judgment he faces.
Regardless of the outcome of this latest legal maneuver, Trump continues to face multiple lawsuits and investigations, showcasing the legal challenges that lie ahead for the former president. As he attempts to save every penny he can, the public will likely continue to scrutinize his financial choices and legal strategies, eager to see how his legal battles unfold in the coming months and years.